New Lexington’s Caring Bookstore
Along with selling books, a small bookstore wants to help create awareness for Ohio’s growing problem.
The little book store in the middle of Main Street in New Lexington might not seem like much at first. But among the small stash of books that line the 5-foot-tall shelves in Twice Turned Bookstore lies real gold and a positive mission.
Most of the store’s books rest under a little paper pricing label on the top of the shelf that reads “$.10 to $1.” Just about every piece of literature that finds its way to the shelves of Twice Turned is the product of a donation.
The store does not purchase its books, but rather receives them from people who no longer use them—hence the name of the store.
Turning a profit isn’t the highest on the list of priorities when it comes to this bookstore. For the owners, it’s about serving as a community center for everybody.
Twice Turned is run by Perry Behavioral Health Choices, an organization specializing in addiction recovery and community involvement.
Program Supervisor Kamala Tahyi oversees the shop to make sure events are running smoothly.
“So many people don’t buy books anymore,” Tahyi says. “It’s nice to just have people in the shop doing anything.”
The organization attempts to proactively engage with people who are going through recovery, have disabilities, or are struggling with mental illness by running the bookstore alongside hosting recovery sessions, leading yoga and organizing other activities.
The store itself is often run by those in the recovery program as part of PBHC’s peer support program, which helps those in recovery acquire the necessary skills and résumé builders needed to further their professional development.
“They see potential in me that I didn’t see before.” Store Supervisor Cassie Stapleton says. She looks after the store on a daily basis and has been in the PBHC recovery program for a year.
As a member of the peer recovery corps, Stapleton also spends her time listening to and helping those who are dealing with problems she has faced. This contributes to Twice Turned’s irregular hours, but Stapleton keeps the store open from 10a.m. to 5p.m. on most weekdays.
The store itself is modest, with just a few shelves, a wooden counter and Stapleton. But it makes up for its size through the dedication it puts towards helping the recovery community by offering various interactive programs.
One program includes an informal art gallery that is open to everyone for submissions. Each piece of art is put up for sale, with 90 percent of the profits going to the artist. The other 10 percent will go toward the shop for things such as coffee, craft supplies and a new renovation in the spring.
Renovations will come after the events hosted on March 16 by PBHC for Black Balloon Day, an overdose awareness day.
Twice Turned will undergo remodeling in hopes of making the shop cozier. It will hold more books, have more seats and offer more in-store activities for those who wish to take part in PBHC’s goal.
“Twice Turned is Now Open,” reads the small chalkboard sign placed on the sidewalk in front of the shop’s door. Stop by to see what there is to find. At the very least it can offer its guests the familiar smell of old books and fresh coffee, as well as a warm smile by Stapleton.